Disney Pin Trading: 3 Steps to Get You Started

Ever since I was a little kid, I had the same routine at Disney: racing to all of my favorite rides as fast as possible and not stopping for even a second until we arrived at the queue entrance. After years of being a devoted Disney fan who lived for the fun of the rides and the magical atmosphere, this past summer I fell into a Disney rut and began to think to myself: There must be more to this provincial Disney life.

So out of curiosity, I did a little digging online and stumbled upon a subcommunity of Disney fans known as ‘pin traders.’ I slowly realized it’s a HUGE part of a lot of people’s Disney experience that I had never experienced it before. Long story short, I’m totally obsessed with pin trading now and it has completely revolutionized my Disney experience.

  1. 1. Get Yourself a Lanyard

    To even think about getting into pin trading you need to have a lanyard first. There are tons of different options to choose from—and some lanyards even come with pins included. (These are called Booster Packs!) In each park, there are multiple places you can pick up a lanyard. One of the main places to do so is at each park's Trading Posts. Don’t be shy to ask a cast member for advice or help!

  2. 2. Pick out Your Starter Pins

    Almost every Disney merchandise location has a few walls of pins. They have various categories to choose from like Attractions, Mickey and Friends, Disney Movies, Princesses or—just in time for fall—Halloween. Choosing your first pins is probably the hardest decision to make in this whole process of getting started. Choose wisely, because you’ll want a couple you won’t mind trading. 

  3. 3. Get to Trading!

    Now that you have a lanyard and some pins, you can get to trading with cast members! There are a couple of rules to trading with cast members, but they’re pretty easy to remember. Basically, you can only make two trades with the same cast member per day and pins can only be traded for other pins. Once you have those rules down, you can head around into the parks to trade. Once you spot a cast member with a lanyard or pin carrier, you can go right up to them and ask to trade—they never say no! Another place you can find pins for trade is on pinboards in select stores. They’re usually behind the registers and you can just ask to check them out. 

Discovering Disney pin trading gave me something else to love and look forward to at the parks and I hope it can do the same for some of you. Don’t get me wrong, the rides are by far the best thing at the parks. But if you’re ever finding yourself in a Disney rut, pin trading might just be enough to pull you right out of it.

Fun Fact: Magic Kingdom has ‘secret’ mystery pin boxes in three locations: The Chapeau, Curtain Call Collectibles and Uptown Jewelers. Just ask a cast member to see the mystery pin box and they’ll bring it right out!

Images: 1, 2, 3